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Deal for homeless camp could take another step forward

October 12, 2017 - 12:05am

KAILUA-KONA — The Board of Land and Natural Resources on Friday will consider a request to set aside more than 35 acres of state land in Kealakehe for the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp (HHFDC) and for the purpose of “affordable housing and related purposes.”

The land is a part of “The Villages of Lai Opua” in Kealakehe, a planned community by HHFDC, according to a submittal filed with the Board of Land and Natural Resources.

The submittal comes a little more than a month after Mayor Harry Kim wrote to the chairperson of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, seeking a right-of-entry to a 5-acre portion of the parcel to create a homeless encampment.

The county already has an emergency encampment in Kona Industrial Area, the letter indicates, but the site “does not have adequate area to accommodate the demand.”

The county is also pursuing a long-term lease from the corporation for 15-20 acres of the parcel in question to develop a more permanent facility.

After consulting with the DLNR, Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp and county, an agent with the Land Division said the “most practical course of action” is for the department to set aside the parcel to HHFDC, which can then work directly with the county for the right of entry, subdivide the parcel, designate any easements and negotiate a long-term lease, as well as take any other actions needed for development of the property.

The item is on the agenda for Friday’s board meeting, which will take place that morning in Honolulu.

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